The next phase of Frank McCourt vs. Bud Selig takes place on Wednesday, as the Delaware Bankruptcy Court will decide the source of financing for the Dodgers through the bankruptcy process. Beginning at 7 a.m. PDT, Judge Kevin Gross will hear arguments from both sides regarding $150 million of financing, and ultimately decide essentially who controls the team for the foreseeable future. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times explained the difference between the financing secured by McCourt and money provided by MLB:
Under McCourt's loan, the Dodgers could owe close to $15 million more in interest and fees, according to a committee of creditors. The U.S. trustee assigned to help represent creditors has asked the judge not to approve McCourt's loan.
The rub here is that if Gross approves MLB's loan, it paves the way for Selig to step in and wrest control of the Dodgers away from Frank McCourt. However, there is also the issue of television rights. The Dodgers' current contract with Fox runs out after 2013, and Fox retains exclusive negotiating rights with the club through late 2012. As Josh Fisher explained at ESPN, a new TV deal is of grave importance to McCourt:
Generating significant, immediate capital and providing for long-term financial stability by selling the TV rights for 2014 and beyond is an indispensable aspect of McCourt's post-bankruptcy strategy. If he cannot secure baseball's approval of a new TV deal or persuade the court to allow one over Selig's objections, McCourt will almost certainly not own the Dodgers when the club exits bankruptcy.
The real tragedy of the McCourt mess is that it forces attention away from the baseball diamond and into the courtroom. The Dodgers play the , with an epic pitching matchup of Wednesday afternoon in San FranciscoClayton Kershaw against Tim Lincecum. However, the focus of the Dodgers fans will be 2,867 miles away, in a Delaware courthouse.
The judge of the Bankruptcy Court is Kevin Gross, who shares a name with the former MLB pitcher. Gross, the pitcher (left), was a Dodger for four years, and even pitched a no-hitter against the Giants on August 17, 1992. May the judge Kevin Gross have similar success on Wednesday, choosing whatever path that leads to the quickest possible end to all this turmoil.
For more news and information on the Dodgers, or on tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.